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David Hockney, Retrospective 1988, 1988. Courtesy of Roshkowska Galleries.

David Hockney: Posters

“The poster can be a marvelous reproduction, better than anything in a book,” David Hockney wrote in his 1993 autobiography. “And if you print them well and take the photographs of the paintings well, the posters are worth keeping, people might like them; they can pin them on a wall.” While many of Hockney’s posters feature reproductions of his famous works, others boast entirely new designs. For example, the British Pop artist often produced original posters to promote operas and ballets, especially when he designed the sets for these productions. Perhaps the most famous collector of David Hockney’s posters is Brian Baggott, a former British Airways employee who befriended Hockney in the 1970s. Since he could not afford an original painting or print, Baggot collected more than 200 posters by the artist over the course of 25 years. “I wrote to every gallery ever mentioned in the back of a Hockney catalogue to see if they’d done a poster,” he once explained. “It had become a bit of an obsession, rather like schoolboys with stamps.” In 1999, his obsession paid off—Baggott’s collection of Hockney posters sold for over $100,000 at a Christie’s auction.

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